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The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Mitski’s ‘The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We’: An exploration of loss and self-love

Mitski+performing+in+Seattle+in+2022.+%28Photo+by+Bruce+Lee+via+Flickr%29
Mitski performing in Seattle in 2022. (Photo by Bruce Lee via Flickr)

Mitski’s newest album “The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We” tackles heavy topics of love and self-discovery through raw emotions and haunting melodies. The album centers around realistic love and mourning past loves through memories, introducing a new era in both Mitski’s identity and sound. 

Mitski diversified her instrumentals, adding pedal steel guitar (mainly used in country and Hawaiian music) to the traditional violin, piano and guitar, providing her music with an Americana-esque atmosphere. The album also pivoted away from her original focus on yearning for love and hopeless romance; her new album primarily speaks to loss and the mourning that follows.

Mitski sings in her hit song “My Love Mine All Mine,” “Nothing in the world belongs to me / but my love mine, all mine, all mine.” She introduces the song with a steel guitar which then transitions to the background as her gentle and calming vocals begin, singing the title — “my love mine all mine.” Even if Mitski has nothing, she proclaims ownership of her love and control over who she gives her love to, a sentiment emphasized by her references to the moon, representing a higher being shining her love onto everyone she has loved even after her death.

Much of the album consists of peaceful melodies and reflections on love, like “Heaven.” With lyrics like, “Now I bend like a willow thinking of you / like a murmuring brook curving about you / as I sip on the rest of the coffee you left / a kiss left of you,” Mitski shows how love changed her through her yearning. Mitski employs romantic symbolism — describing how she savored the coffee her lover left behind and sipped on it to preserve it to express a kiss left by her lover. On top of that, Mitski says how she bends for her lover; changing who she is and how she acts to maintain this relationship she loves so dearly. 

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Mitski explores a variety of feelings related to love across her latest album, including the weight of toxic relationships. Songs such as “I’m Your Man” describe the song with the connections between the themes of loss and love, portraying Mitski’s sense of losing her loved one while still holding onto her feelings of affection which are shown in the lyrics: “You’re an angel, I’m a dog / Or you’re a dog and I’m your man / You believe me like a god / I’ll destroy you like I am / I’m sorry I’m the one you love / No one will ever love me like you again.” Mitski delves into important themes, including grappling with a sense of moral doubt and her flaws that makes her question her worthiness in her lover’s eyes. Throughout the track, she represents themes of loss and love as she feels as if she is losing her loved one while she still clings to her feelings of love for the person in the song.

The new instrumentation and the more quiet and reflective character of the songs have challenged some Mitski fans, who are used to her characteristic slow, sad music. However, the themes she explores — especially her perspective on love — are similar, although the music style itself is different. “The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We” may strike some listeners with confusion upon first listen, but as one becomes more familiar with the haunting and beautiful melodies, the mix of light and heavy songs presents an intriguing listening experience that creates a sense of familiarity within people’s experiences throughout their life. 

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Sara Lahr, Staff Writer

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